Some doctors are using botox as a treatment for kids who suffer from migraines.
It has been studied for 20 years and is FDA approved for the use of chronic migraines. Doctors we spoke with say it’s safe.
For Nayeli Sainos, chronic migraine headaches since age 9 eventually became debilitating.
“My mom would take me to the hospital and I had to be hospitalized for three to five days straight, and I missed out on a lot of school work,” Sainos said.
Of all the medicine she tried, nothing worked. So doctors had another idea...botox.
“This is my third time getting botox, and it actually helps a lot,” Sainos told us.
The treatment surprised even this sweet 16-year old.
“Because usually botox is for older people to look younger,” said Sainos through a childlike chuckle.
“It's very safe to use in pediatrics,” explained Dr. Tonia Sabo, Medical Director of the Children’s Health Concussion program. Sabo said migraines can really show their full force in teenage years.
“We put a little numbing cream on... we talk them through the procedure... it's very well tolerated,” Sabo said.
The botox is injected into muscles and small nerve fibers on the forehead, temples, back of the head and upper neck to work deep into the migraine pathway. The whole treatment takes ten minutes, and kids can go to school the same day.
“What's great is most of our kids can get off of some of those other daily medicines that can cause side effects,” Sabo said.
It is a lot of needles, but Sainos doesn’t mind.
“It feels like cold, cold water inside you but it slowly fades,” Sainos said while she received the treatment.
She comes back every 3 months for more shots, and so far, it’s working for her.
“I have headaches, but they're not really bad like they were before,” Sainos said.
Dr. Sabo told us good that candidates for botox treatment for migraines are usually kids over age 12 who have more than 15 headaches per month.
Botox isn't just for headaches, the FDA has approved a variety of other uses for the injections